Black and white photography used to be a thing of the past. During those times, there was no option but to take photos without colours due to technological restrictions. In the present day, we have the luxury of taking photos rich in colours but taking monochromatic pictures is a artistic movement and creative approach to fine art photography. With his love for black and white photography, EOS Professional James Lim will explain how to capture monochromatic photos that tell a story.

EOS Professional James Lim

Tell A Story With Basic Elements Of Photography

Instead of using colour contrast or harmony to create a story, the inter‐relationship of basic elements such as empty spaces, lines, patterns, shadows, shapes, contrasting tonal range and textures are now playing an extremely important role in storytelling and creating an art piece. For example, those white fluffy clouds against the blue sky and even shadows within the clouds itself have now become these interesting shapes that serve as highlights against a dark and contrasting backdrop.

<img src="black and white photography.jpg" alt="black and white photography">

Canon EOS 7D Mark II | f/16 | ISO 100 | 1/40s

Colours, as enriching and vibrant as they can be, can sometimes become a distraction. Black and white photography reveal the bare necessities – offering a timeless and artistic representation of reality. This allows one to read the true emotion of the photo more effectively and form a stronger connection to the subject. It tells a story differently and unfold an artistic interpretation of reality to both the photographer and viewer.

<img src="black and white photography.jpg" alt="black and white photography">

Canon EOS 7D Mark II | f/16 | ISO 200 | 1/60s

In an urban context, buildings of different colours are now in different shades of greys. Shadows created by the ledge, columns, beams are now shapes that help you focus on what you seek to express and tell a story.

<img src="black and white photography.jpg" alt="black and white photography">

Canon EOS 7D Mark II | f/16 | ISO 100 | 1/100s

Tell A Story With Details

Taking monochromatic photos makes you notice basic elements and the importance they play in composing the shot. This will also help tremendously in colour photography as you now look at things differently and more creatively. Shooting monochromatic photos helps you to look at things in a way you normally wouldn’t have. There is also the challenge of constantly forcing yourself to flex those creative muscles and open your eyes to details that you might not have noticed before.

<img src="black and white photography.jpg" alt="black and white photography">

Canon EOS 7D Mark II | f/5.6 | ISO 640 | 1/640s

<img src="black and white photography.jpg" alt="black and white photography">

Canon EOS 7D Mark II | f/16 | ISO 250 | 1/40s

<img src="black and white photography.jpg" alt="black and white photography">

Canon EOS 7D Mark II | f/16 | ISO 250 | 1/50s

 

<img src="black and white photography.jpg" alt="black and white photography">

Canon EOS 7D Mark II | f/16 | ISO 100 | 30s

Photos by James Lim